1st time D&D, Session 1.

After weeks of slowly getting into the game mechanics, I finally had my first D&D session on May 20th. I was pretty stoked as I had for the most part planned my character with the DM beforehand and tweaked it to 1st edition D&D rules. Unfortunately, due to players being unable to continue, my level 1 character is now stuck in stasis. 😦

Before the campaign went underway I contacted the DM and sent him a .pdf of The Noble Wild to give him an idea of what I wanted to work with. The book is part of Pathfinder, but with a few tweaks, I had a fully fledged cat PC going by the name of Locke Felister with a magical amulet that could convert his thoughts into speech.

Anywho, me and three other people began exploring a large city that is completely cutthroat and the worst of the worst scum reside here. As all four characters didn’t start off knowing each other and arriving on the same boat. As a newbie, I took what I considered to be a relatively safe choice and tail the slowest PC, who happened to have sand powers (a la Gaara from Naruto). We split up into three separate groups.

One of us, a dragonlike warrior, ended up in a tavern with a ratman, culminating in him chopping off the NPC’s tail and landing himself in jail. Meanwhile, the one who set off first (can’t remember off the top of my head as to what he was) ended up being initiated into a Shadow Cult and swearing his allegiance to the Shadow Mother by essentially becoming an assassin.

And me and the sand mage (whom we’ve affectionately dubbed Sandy)? We ended up outside a teahouse, and Sandy was ushered in to have some tea–two of them. One ended up being a temporary STR-boosting tea but caused STR to plummet after a while; the other was a tea that needed to be imbibed every month or the drinker will die. As Sandy was escorted out, I (Locke) snuck into the teahouse and swiped some black, dried tea leaves into my small pouch. I later tried to knock over the tea urns in order to get some tea out, only to have the owner discover me and toss me into the canal, where I spent hours navigating the sewers to get back up onto the main level, only to end up being a very smelly cat.

Eventually, I made my way to a square with a fountain spewing forth clean water. Thanks to a crappy roll, I was noticed by a druid who immediately took me to an oaken grove where I was reunited with Sandy, as one of the cityfolk remembered seeing me loitering around him. Suddenly the two of us were summoned for a quest when we all of a sudden had our first encounter with sludge monsters. Combat begins and with a few sand blasts and some dagger slashes, all of the creatures were destroyed and we managed to save all but one NPC from the onslaught.

All in all, it was a good introduction to the world of tabletop RPGs and it is my hope that one day my DM will come back to this so that my Lv. 1 Rogue Cat will have time to shine once more.

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Children and Profanity

No, really, the fuck? Source: Channel Ate

The following content contains more profanity than the above comic strip. Reader discretion is advised. There’s more, you douchebags!

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[Update] Non-consensual Sex Jokes in University Chants

Updated article: Non-consensual Sex Jokes in University Chants

UBC has released a fact-finding report today about the events that transpired during CUS’ FROSH.

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[Review] Oh God, I’m reading this again!

As a devoted fan of some fandoms (e.g., Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Avengers), I like to read fanfiction of them. There are many of them out there, but there are a few, like this one which are diamonds in the rough. Oh God, Not Again! is a Harry Potter fanfiction written by Sarah1281 which tells the tale of Harry Potter who slipped through the Veil in the Department of Mysteries and is sent back in time to his 11th birthday. On TV Tropes, this is considered to be one of the lighter Peggy Sue fics out there, where the story is not as serious, as Harry does not purposely set out to save everyone that had died in the Second Wizarding War.

This is about a tenth of how sassy Harry is in this fic. Source: wehearit.com

The Harry in this fanfic is very, very, out of character. He doesn’t mope around and his personality’s only used to make the plot even more incredulous with him doing things like claiming that his scar is psychic and exploiting his future knowledge of Basilisk attacks in his second year to make a mint off of selling mirrors and books on the beast alongside Mandrake Restoratives. As a road less travelled, Lockhart is not portrayed as a complete dunderhead and actually manages to get on Harry’s good side as the professor reveals his cunning, scheming side.

Of course, with the pre-knowledge of the latter half of the books, Harry manipulates the events leading up to Order of the Phoenix such that post-Triwizard Tournament plot points never happened. This means Umbridge never gets her comeuppance, which is something that most readers (myself included) love reading.

I highly recommend this fanfic if you’re looking for a lengthy story that satirises Harry’s awesomeness. If you really enjoy it, you may also like another fic of the author’s titled Run that be me again? which goes over some plot points where some characters don’t exercise any common sense.


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My Banff Trip

So many pictures… o_O

Day One

So on Thursday I went off to the east to start my trek to Banff. I took a few rest stops at Chilliwack, someplace with a Quality Inn, and the Last Spike. I stayed at the Best Western in Golden, B.C. and ate at a nearby Prestige Inn’s restaurant named the ABC Country Restaurant. Thankfully I ordered the beef, because the rice with the chicken seemed undercooked, dry, and hard. Still a little famished, I went to a nearby McDonalds for a McFlurry and reliable wifi before heading back to my hotel and dozing off…

Day Two

Today I woke up at an ungodly hour to go to Emerald Lake and the Columbia Icefield (and is only open to the public in the warmer half of the year). The latter was quite the detour, as one must take Highway 93 which branches off from Highway 1.

One thing I noticed was that the water seemed clearer and bluer than that in BC. This could be because the bodies of water are found higher up in the mountains or because of the blue-green algae there.

During the ride on the bus, the driver played some songs over the PA (which, as I’ve come to find out, is from a CD called Celtic Mystique: Women of Song); the tracks are soothing, particularly Ancient Souls which evoked a sense of mysticism and wonder.

Sometime around 6:30 I finally reached Banff and the Chinese cuisine we had for supper was much better than the one at Golden; the rice was softer and stickier. After dinner I decided to go window shopping through the downtown district and it struck me as to how there were many stores being run by Japanese people.

Day Three

I begin heading back towards BC but before that my tour group took a pit stop at the Fairmont at Lake Louise. Nestled high up in the mountains, the backdrop is phenomenal, with ice-capped peaks shadowing the pristine water as people canoed across.

By the time the sun set I was in Vernon, where I had the pleasure of learning more about bees and managed to get a good deal on blueberry honey and royal jelly, too. That night was the best night of all as (dare I say it) due to strong, constant wifi in a hotel. Life is very good.

Day Four

Driving back to Vancouver! I arrived at Kelowna in the early hours of the day and got to participate in an icewine tasting. I’ve learned I’ve developed a fondness for Riesling and bought a bottle of sparkling wine. On the way back I’ve experienced my first highway obstruction and how painfully slow it was, especially when more than half the bus needs to get to a rest stop soon.

But besides that, back home where everything is. 🙂

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[Review] Paladog

If you want a small browser Flash game to kill some time, this may be the one for you. Paladog is the story of a world where humans have gone extinct (due to Mother Nature having had enough of pollution and whatnot) and critters like mice and bears have become sapient lifeforms. Over a millennium they have lived in peace, but devils raise the dead and wreak havoc all over Critterland. Only one brave warrior stands between total annihilation and salvation. He is Paladog.

Cartoony with 9 units to choose from! Source: Armor Games

More cute information!

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Fares will not be shared between buses and Skytrain under new Compass card program

In the lovely city of Vancouver, a customer of transit company TransLink may pay for a fare ticket on a bus or a Skytrain ticket machine and then use them on any other TransLink operated vehicle.

That may very well not be the case in the near future. Translink has decided to switch to a Compass card program which will start being implemented in late fall 2013. If you’ve used the transit system in Hong Kong, it’s similar to the Octopus card, where you can fill the card up with some money for future use.

A startling article made in the 24 Hours newspaper today states that due to an insufficient budget, all bus fare boxes may not be upgraded to produce Compass-compatible bus fares and as such passengers will need to pay for the Skytrain and bus fares separately.

This will not turn out well for transit as the article already acknowledges that angry passengers will take their frustrations out on the bus drivers who have nothing to do with this development. The vice-president of the TransLink bus driver union, Gavin Davies, says:

“You either go all the way or no way, they’re not two separate things. We have one system in place and it should be compatible.”

-Gavin Davies, 24 Hours

I think most (if not all) of TransLink commuters will agree with this statement. The situation is different in a place like Hong Kong, where the buses and the MTR are run by two different companies and as such double fares are understandable.

Furthermore, I’ve always been very dubious about the use of Compass cards on buses. Unlike Skytrain faregates which only allows you to pass through by scanning the card through, putting small gates at the exits of buses is harder to do as it causes people to waste time scanning their cards through. It then falls back onto the honour system, something that TransLink does not believe in with numerous fare evasion incidents on lines such as the B-99.

tl;dr: Get a hold of yourself, TransLink, because with this new double-fare stint, I sense even worse business coming your way.

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[Sticky] Stuff that You Will See on my Blog

As you can see in some of my posts, I’m a bit of a fan with simple HTML. Anytime you see red text that usually means that there’s hover text for it, so hover away!

Any posts tagged with [Review] are reviews of media I’ve experienced (be it books, films/TV series, or video games) and there will be spoilers (hidden behind the “continue reading”) within them. Therefore, it’s best that you’ve seen/played the subject of interest before reading the relevant post.

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Verdict of George Zimmerman’s Trial

Still maintaining radio silence. (Source: BBC News)

After the recent acquittal of George Zimmerman from a second-degree murder charge of Trayvon Martin, people have organised protests (some violent) and death threats have been uttered against Zimmerman’s family. While the outrage is understandable, it has crossed the line with these actions.

The aftermath will have to do as Zimmerman’s punishment. With worldwide outrage (greater that what would have been had he been convicted), Zimmerman will face scorn and dirty looks for the majority of the rest of his life. Whatever reputation he has left has been tarnished.

Many people are crying out for blood (such as the 2012 Black Panthers video putting a $10,000 bounty on his head) and  the justice system is attempting to mitigate this by arraigning him on civil charges (and holding his gun as evidence). The problem is that there was not enough evidence to suggest anything past reasonable doubt. That fault lies with the evidence presented or the interpretation given on it. After all, many have preached “innocent until proven guilty” though in this case it seems to have been a complete turnaround. I will not delve into why that may be the case, but it is surprising to see a departure from the usual tenet of law.

It’s also remarkable with the lengths that the all-woman jury for the case has since been demonised for being all female and (with the exception of one) all white, not to mention an un-newsworthy article of them going shopping in their free time (even if they are using taxpayer money).

Yes, the night of the death is still very fishy. Why was a self-appointed neighbourhood watch head prowling about at night tailing a 17-year old despite being told by a dispatcher not to? Why did he attempt to hide his financial assets from the court?

What’s done is done. Double jeopardy won’t happen. He’ll be judged by the majority of society in all of his waking hours.

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[Review] Now You See Me

After weeks of watching the trailers and being quite impressed by it, a few weeks ago I went off to the cinema and watched Now You See Me with a couple of friends. Spoilers abound! Continue reading
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